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Italian Army of 1940: Facilitator or Victim of Mussolini’s Failed War Strategy? Part Two

Mussolini reviewing troops

In the early 1920s the worldwide reputation of the Italian Army was in good standing, and it was considered as modern an army as there was.

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Conte di Cavour Class Battleship

A port side view of the Conte di Cavour

“Cesare” and “Cavour” were built in 1912 and were the first units to be rebuilt in 1933. Work included improvement of artillery from 305 to 320mm caliber, substitution of engines and remodeling of shape. While “Cesare” and “Doria”originally belonged in the same class, differences in refitting was so great, that in WWII they were seen as different classes.

The Sollum Incident

Retreating Italians moving from Sollum to Bardia

Then I remembered that in the desert we used to hear planes at night, but because they were far away no one bothered, and when the noise left us we assumed they were gone. The crafty devils were cutting their engines and gliding over us to drop fountain pens that would explode when someone picked them up, taking off the unfortunate bloke’s hand.